Video Series: Biomolecules from Functional Groups to Nucleic Acids

If you need a quick review of the major classes of biomolecules, then our new YouTube playlist – Biology 101-Biomolecules, is the right place to start. After taking you on a quick introduction to biomolecules and functional groups, we explore the basic characteristics of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids.

An Overview of Functional Groups

Functional groups are what give biomolecules, such as carbohydrates and proteins, their chemical reactivity. This video explains the basic structure of some of the more common functional groups and how they relate to the different classes of biomolecules.


Carbohydrates are primarily viewed as energy molecules, but they also have structural properties in some organisms. This video provides an overview of the structure and function of the general classes of carbohydrates: monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides.


Generally, lipids are energy storage molecules, although some (phospholipids and steroids) have other functions in the cell or organism. In this video we explore not only the structure and function of these biomolecules, but also the concept of saturation of fatty acid chains.


Almost every process in a cell, and therefore an organism, involves a protein. In this video we explore the structure of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and how proteins have multiple levels of structure (primary to quaternary) that influence their function. 

Nucleic Acids

The nucleic acids primarily are involved with the storage of genetic information (DNA) or the processing of that information (RNA) to form proteins and provide function to the cell. In addition, some nucleic acids (namely ATP) have the ability to act as energy carriers within the cell. This video provides an overview of these functions. 


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